Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lack of mentor suppport - what you can do

Following from my last post, the biggest let down of my year was poor mentoring and I have been asked a good question about what others in the same situation as me could do in the future.

This is a very hard topic for any student to get over and in the end led to my failing - but is there anything that can be done about it?

When I was going through it, I felt like there was simply nobody to talk to - after all as a student what did I really know? Who was going to believe a student complaining about a fully qualified teacher who has been picked as a mentor due to the trust the school already has in them.

In the end I took the opinion to keep my head down, work through it and hope for the best. That plan failed!

Looking back I wish I had done something sooner and at least tried to make a difference. I made notes during this period of when I had felt let down but I kept them to myself, instead I should have taken this as evidence to a more senior teacher as a concern. I will never know if it would have been taken seriously but at least I could have looked back knowing I had tried.

It is important to add that if you are thinking of doing this, you should have evidence to back it up - such as examples of when you have been let down. That way you have substance to your complaint and are more likely to be taken seriously.

I believe this though is simply making the best of a bad situation, I think the actual answer lies at the responsibility of the university. A process should be put in place and largely advertised to help with the student-mentor relationship.

Whether it be the mentor's fault, the student's fault, or simply if the two just don't get on, there should be a way to have a change of mentor. Now I'm not saying it is the answer to every problem - a lot should just be worked through, however if this has been tried and not worked then there needs to be a quick way to get a new mentor,

Just to finish, I reported back my issues to the course leader with the hope that others don't have to go through the same mentors as me - I just hope this was taken on board and new mentors put in place for the following year's intake.

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